Wie trails only Stanford at Turtle Bay

By Associated PressFebruary 12, 2009, 5:00 pm
2006 SBS OpenKAHUKU, Hawaii ' Michelle Wie made her much-anticipated debut as a full-fledged LPGA Tour member, birdieing her final three holes for a 6-under 66 on Thursday in the first round of the season-opening SBS Open.
 
The 19-year-old Wie was a stroke behind leader Angela Stanford.
 
Wie was tied with rookie of the year Yani Tseng, who was ranked 133rd a year ago and is now No. 2. South Koreas Kyeong Bae had a 67, and Japans Momoko Ueda shot a 68.
 
Wie looked comfortable playing in front of the largest gallery and on her home island of Oahu. It was her first U.S. start since July when she was disqualified from the State Farm Classic after opening with a 67. She earned her tour card in December with a seventh-place tie at Q-school.
 
With the sun setting over the churning Pacific Ocean, Wie closed the round with three straight birdies. She went birdie-bogey-birdie to open the day and crawled up the leaderboard with consecutive birdies, including a curling 20-footer on No. 9, to make the turn at 3 under.
 
She lost a stroke on the par-4 11th when her tee shot found the heavy rough and her 8-footer for par hung on the lip. But she quickly recovered on the next hole after nearly chipping in for eagle.
 
Turtle Bay has been good to Wie, who is looking for a new beginning after her wrists and confidence took a beating in 2007.
 
Wie played the first SBS in 2005 as a 15-year-old amateur and tied for second. It also was at Turtle Bay in 2006 that she became the first female player to win a local qualifying tournament for the U.S. Open.
 
Wie is one of the headliners in a remarkable rookie class. But Wie isnt the typical rookie. She already has millions in the bank and is making her 49th start on the LPGA Tour, where shes been playing since she was 12.
 
Taylor Leon, In-Kyung Kim, Jimin Kang, Teresa Lu and Juli Inkster had 69s, while 2007 champion Paula Creamer was at 70, with Cristie Kerr, rookie Vicky Hurst and several others.
 
Starting on 10th, Stanford got off to a hot start and finished strong on a calm, overcast, cool day at Turtle Bay that began with intermittent showers. Winds picked up later in the day, making it difficult to catch Stanford.
 
She birdied the first two holes and made the turn at 4 under. She birdied two of her final three holes for the outright lead.
 
She hit a wedge from 112 yards to 3 feet on No. 7 and on the 511-yard ninth, she blasted out of the greenside bunker and dropped a 7-footer for birdie. She hit all but one of the greens, but managed to save par on the par-3 fourth by dropping an 8-footer.
 
Ive always kind of struggled playing this golf course, so I really wanted to be more patient today, she said. So I feel like just starting out, I was in the right frame of mind.
 
The 31-year-old Stanford, ranked No. 8 in the world, is coming off a career-best season where she won two events, broke $1 million for the first time and finished ninth on the money list. The former TCU star had six of her 10 top-10 finishes in the final six events, including wins at the Bell Micro LPGA Classic and Lorena Ochoa Invitational. She also finished sixth in the season-ending ADT Championship.
 
Stanford, from Saginaw, Texas, credited the success but more mentally. She is now content with par.
 
I used to get upset with par. But I think its just maturing a little bit and just mentally trying to be better on the golf course, not beat myself up so much, she said.
 
Tseng, who just turned 20 last month, is hoping for a big sophomore season after winning the LPGA Championship and recording five runner-up finishes en route to rookie of the year honors. With all the success last year, she doesnt feel any extra pressure to succeed this season.
 
I just feel really relaxed, and I dont want to put too much expectations, she said. I just feel really relaxed and happy.
 
But she does want to supplant Ochoa in the rankings.
 
No. 1 in the world has always been my dream. My goal when I was very young, Tseng said. But I think I have a long way to go. Its just step by step. Just do what Im doing now and just see the results.
 
The Taiwanese star played the first eight holes at 2 under before making her move. Behind a sharp iron game, she birdied four of the next six holes to reach 6 under. She lost a stroke on the par-4 17th by pushing a 3-wood into the bunker and missing a 4-footer for par, but tapped in for birdie on the 539-yard 18th.
 
Tseng wouldnt give a precise number of events she aims to win this year. Her goal is simple: I want to be a birdie machine.
 
That should get her at least a few more titles since she led the LPGA last year with 388 birdies.
 
If I just keep making birdies, it will be the perfect (year), she said.
 

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    Lincicome grouped with two rookies in Barbasol

    By Golf Channel DigitalJuly 17, 2018, 9:54 pm

    Brittany Lincicome will tee it up with a pair of rookies when she makes her first start in a PGA Tour event Thursday at the Barbasol Championship at Keene Trace Golf Club in Nicholasville, Ky.

    Lincicome, an eight-time LPGA winner, is scheduled to go off the 10th tee at 9:59 a.m. ET in the first round with Sam Ryder, 28, and Conrad Shindler, 29. They’re off the first tee Friday at 2:59 p.m. ET

    Lincicome will become just the sixth woman to play in a PGA Tour event, joining Babe Zaharias, Shirley Spork, Annika Sorenstam, Suzy Whaley and Michelle Wie.

    “The first three or four holes, I’ll be a nervous wreck, for sure,” Linicome said.

     

     

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    Lincicome thrilled by reception from male pros

    By Randall MellJuly 17, 2018, 8:31 pm

    Brittany Lincicome wondered how PGA Tour pros would greet her when she arrived to play the Barbasol Championship this week.

    She wondered if there would be resentment.

    She also wondered how fans at Keene Trace Golf Club in Nicholasville, Ky., would receive her, and if a social media mob would take up pitchforks.

    “I can’t stop smiling,” Lincicome said Tuesday after her first practice round upon arriving. “Everyone has been coming up to me and wishing me luck. That means a lot.”

    PGA Tour pro Martin Piller, husband of LPGA pro Gerina Piller, welcomed her immediately.

    Other pros sought her out on the practice putting green.

    She said she was also welcomed joining pros at a table in player dining.

    Fans have been stopping her for autographs.

    “It has been an awesome reception,” said Dewald Gouws, her husband, a former long-drive competitor. “I think it’s put her much more at ease, seeing the reception she is getting. There’s a lot of mutual respect.”

    Lincicome, 32, wasn’t sure if she would be playing a practice round alone Tuesday morning, but when she made her way to the first tee, Domenico Geminiani was there, just about to go off.

    He waved Lincicome over.

    “He said, `Hey, Brittany, do you want to join me?’” Gouws said. “Come to find out, Dom’s a pretty cool guy.”

    Geminiani made it into the field as a Monday qualifier.

    “The two of us were both trying to figure things out together,” Lincicome said.

    Keene Trace will play to 7,328 yards on the scorecard. That’s more than 800 yards longer than Highland Meadows, where Lincicome finished second at the LPGA’s Marathon Classic last weekend. Keene Trace was playing even longer than its listed yardage Tuesday, with recent rains softening it.

    Nicknamed “Bam Bam,” Lincicome is one of the longest hitters in the women’s game. Her 269.5 yard average drive is 10th in the LPGA ranks. It would likely be dead last on the PGA Tour, where Brian Stuard (278.2) is the last player on the stats list at No. 201.

    “I think if I keep it in the fairway, I’ll be all right,” Lincicome said.

    Lincicome is an eight-time LPGA winner, with two major championships among those titles. She is just the sixth woman to compete in a PGA Tour event, the first in a decade, since Michelle Wie played the Reno-Tahoe Open, the last of her eight starts against the men.

    Lincicome will join Babe Zaharias, Shirley Spork, Annika Sorenstam, Suzy Whaley and Wie in the elite ranks.

    Zaharias, by the way, is the only woman to make a 36-hole cut in PGA Tour history, making it at the 1945 L.A. Open before missing a 54-hole cut on the weekend.

    What are Lincicome’s expectations?

    She would love to make the cut, but . . .

    “Just going to roll with it and see what happens,” she said. “This is once in a lifetime, probably a one-and-done opportunity. I’m just going to enjoy it.”

    Lincicome grew up playing for the boys’ golf team at Seminole High on the west coast of Florida. She won a couple city championships.

    “I always thought it would be cool to compete against the guys on the PGA Tour,” Lincicome said. “I tend to play more with the guys than women at home. I never would have gone out and told my agent, `Let’s go try to play in a PGA Tour event,’ but when Tom Murray called with this opportunity, I was really blown away and excited by it. I never in a million years thought I would have this opportunity.”

    Tom Murray, the president of Perio, the parent company of Barbasol and Pure Silk, invited Lincicome to accept one of the tournament’s sponsor exemptions. Lincicome represents Pure Silk.

    Lincicome said her desire to play a PGA Tour event is all about satisfying her curiosity, wanting to know how she would stack up at this level. She also wants to see if the experience can help take her to the next level in the women’s game.

    As a girl growing up, she played Little League with the boys, instead of softball with the girls. She said playing the boys in golf at Seminole High helped her get where she is today.

    “The guys were better, and it pushed me to want to be better,” Lincicome said. “I think playing with the guys [on the PGA Tour], I will learn something to take to LPGA events, and it will help my game, for sure.”

    Lincicome has been pleased that her fellow LPGA pros are so supportive. LPGA winner Kris Tamulis is flying into Kentucky as moral support. Other LPGA pros may also be coming in to support her.

    The warm fan reception Lincicome is already getting at Keene Trace matters, too.

    “She’s already picked up some new fans this week, and hopefully she will pick up some more,” Gouws said. “I don’t think she’s putting too much expectation on herself. I think she really does just want to have fun.”

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    Stunner: Inbee Park steps aside for Int. Crown

    By Randall MellJuly 17, 2018, 4:00 pm

    There was a big surprise this week when the LPGA announced the finalized lineups for the UL International Crown.

    Rolex world No. 1 Inbee Park won’t be teeing it up for the host South Koreans Oct. 4-7 in Incheon.

    She has withdrawn, saying she wanted another Korean to be able to experience the thrill of representing her country.

    It’s a stunner given the importance the LPGA has placed on taking the UL International Crown to South Korea and its golf-crazy allegiance to the women’s game in the Crown’s first staging outside the United States.

    Two-time major champion In Gee Chun will replace Park.

    "It was my pleasure and honor to participate in the first UL International Crown in 2014 and at the 2016 Olympics, and I cannot describe in one word how amazing the atmosphere was to compete as a representative of my country,” Park said. “There are so many gifted and talented players in Korea, and I thought it would be great if one of the other players was given the chance to experience the 2018 UL International Crown.”

    Chun, another immensely popular player in South Korea, was the third alternate, so to speak, with the world rankings used to field teams. Hye Jin Choi and Jin Young Ko were higher ranked than Chun but passed because of commitments made to competing in a Korean LPGA major that week. The other South Koreans who previously qualified are So Yeon Ryu, Sung Hyun Park and I.K. Kim.

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    Na: I can admit, 'I went through the yips'

    By Rex HoggardJuly 17, 2018, 3:35 pm

    CARNOUSTIE, Scotland – Following his victory two weeks ago at A Military Tribute at the Greenbrier, Kevin Na said his second triumph on the PGA Tour was the most rewarding of his career.

    Although he declined to go into details as to why the victory was so gratifying at The Greenbrier, as he completed his practice round on Tuesday at the Open Championship, Na shed some light on how difficult the last few years have been.

    “I went through the yips. The whole world saw that. I told people, 'I can’t take the club back,'” Na said on Tuesday at Carnoustie. “People talked about it, 'He’s a slow player. Look at his routine.' I was admitting to the yips. I didn’t use the word ‘yip’ at the time. Nobody wants to use that word, but I’m over it now so I can use it. The whole world saw it.”


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    Na, who made headlines for his struggles to begin his backswing when he found himself in the lead at the 2012 Players Championship, said he asked other players who had gone through similar bouts with the game’s most dreaded ailment how they were able to get through it.

    “It took time,” he said. “I forced myself a lot. I tried breathing. I tried a trigger. Some guys will have a forward press or the kick of the right knee. That was hard and the crap I got for it was not easy.”

    The payoff, however, has steadily arrived this season. Na said he’d been confident with his game this season following a runner-up showing at the Genesis Open and a fourth-place finish at the Fort Worth Invitational, and he felt he was close to a breakthrough. But being able to finish a tournament like he did at The Greenbrier, where he won by five strokes, was particularly rewarding.

    “All good now,” he smiled. “I knew I was good enough to win again, but until you do it sometimes you question yourself. It’s just the honest truth.”